The DPS Program provides psychosocial services upon request and with the agreement of the impacted community.
The statutory authority for the DPS Program currently lies under the Emergency Program Act's Regulations, Schedule 2 - Duties of Ministers and Government Corporations in the Event of an Emergency, Minister of Health and Minister of Social Services (for unaccompanied children). The regulations specific to the mandate of the DPS Program is currently under review and in the approval process.
The B.C. Emergency Program Act defines local authorities as responsible for first response, and we are working towards the immediate activation of the support services along with the other response groups.
Disaster Psychosocial Program accountabilities include:
- Reporting to PHSA's Emergency Management & Business Continuity Department.
- Leading the development of a long-term DPS strategy for BC in consultation with provincial stakeholders.
- Providing provincial leadership, in-depth knowledge and a global perspective in preparing for the psychosocial impacts that occur with extreme events.
- Providing psychosocial response capacity across the province via the Disaster Psychosocial Program's Volunteer Network and/or building community capacity across health regions.
- Advising the Emergency Management & Business Continuity Director regarding strategic and operational psychosocial planning priorities.
- Supporting the effective integration across emergency management systems by including internal and external partners and stakeholders in provincial planning forums.
- Leading the development, coordination and implementation of province-wide disaster psychosocial frameworks, strategies, policies, procedures, and performance standards and measures.
- Collaborating and coordinating with the Provincial Emergency Management BC and other stakeholders for the delivery of a sustainable and comprehensive pre, during and post-disaster psychosocial services for the public and responders.
The DPS Services Volunteer Network is comprised of registered professional and paraprofessionals from:
- BC Association of Social Workers
- BC Psychological Association
- BC Association of Clinical Counselors
- Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association
- Police Victim Services of BC
- Canadian Association for Spiritual Care
DPS Volunteers are managed by the Provincial Lead, DPS Program and the DPS Council of Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA). The DPS Council has representatives from each of the above professional groups, as well as the Red Cross, Salvation Army, Emergency Social Services.
If you are interested in volunteering with the Disaster Psychosocial program, please submit an application online. Please note that volunteers are screened to ensure they have the necessary credentials.